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“Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men,” Jesus said to Peter when Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke Him. In case any of you dear readers think that Jesus was trying to drive Satan away from Peter with this rebuke rather than directly calling Peter, “Satan,” for that was what Peter had become, look at the second half of the sentence: “…you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”

Just so everyone understands… rest assured that Satan the devil, formerly the anointed guardian cherub who became the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, never has in mind the things of men. In truth, he has no one else in mind except himself, as he boasted in his heart, “I will ascend to Heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”

As formidable a foe as Satan can be, to those who are ignorant of the scriptures and the power of God, he is far less dangerous than the satan that Peter became, for it was Peter, a man, who opposed Jesus’ plans to have Himself crucified, not the devil. Rather, the devil entered Judas later to inflame and incite Judas onwards in betraying Jesus and thus ensuring Jesus did get crucified. The crucifixion of Jesus Christ on the cross is the centrepiece of God’s plan of salvation for this creation, for without the crucifixion, there is no death worthy of the curse, and if there is no death, there can be no raising from the dead, and if there is no raising from the dead, then death is not defeated and the Resurrection cannot put into effect the resurrections that have been prepared. No, at no time does the devil have in mind the things of men… only his own ambition. So then, be settled once and for all that any man who does not have in mind the things of God but of men, even the good things, can be and is a satan.

For the anointed cherub was created by God for a specific purpose, not just as a guardian cherub at the gates of Eden, but rather, his role was revealed later when God instituted the Law of Moses with its sacrifices for the remission of sins when He instructed Moses, “Aaron is to offer the bull for his own sin offering to make atonement for himself and his household. Then he is to take the two goats and present them before the Lord at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. He is to cast lots for the two goats—one lot for the Lord and the other for the scapegoat. Aaron shall bring the goat whose lot falls to the Lord and sacrifice it for a sin offering. But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord to be used for making atonement by sending it into the desert as a scapegoat.”

With the goat that is killed he was to sprinkle “its blood… on the atonement cover… because of the uncleanness and rebellion of the Israelites, whatever their sins have been. He is to do the same for the Tent of Meeting, which is among them in the midst of their uncleanness,” but with the scapegoat, Aaron “…is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites—all their sins—and put them on the goat’s head. He shall send the goat away into the desert in the care of a man appointed for the task. The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a solitary place; and the man shall release it in the desert.”

As in all things, the end is foretold in the beginning and the beginning is revealed in the end… that is why He is the Alpha and the Omega.

In the beginning, had the anointed cherub not been placed conveniently as the guardian cherub of Eden so that he would have the opportunity to ply his trade with Eve and Adam and so deceive Eve to sin with Adam, then Adam with his innate ingratitude towards God would have disobeyed the command without any help from Eve or Satan anyway. For Adam demonstrated with his first words that he only had the things of men on his mind and not of God when he said of Eve, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” Not a word of gratitude to God or for God’s purpose in bringing Eve out of his side. All Adam had in mind for Eve was what Adam had in mind and not what God had in mind at all.

Had the devil not been there, conveniently anointed by God to be the guardian cherub, Adam would have become satan before the devil had a chance to become Satan. So the devil is the scapegoat. The very sin that Adam would have committed was committed by the devil before Adam had a chance to. So the actual sin and fault was transferred to the devil, thus saving us from being directly responsible, but rather, made us the victims of Satan’s deception. As a result, Adam sinned because Eve was deceived by Satan rather than the unthinkable horror that Adam sinned because he did not have in mind the things of God.

So understand that the devil now, today, knows that he has been made the scapegoat by God’s will, for in his own heart the devil had already thought of rebellion. God merely gave him the opportunity to live out the desire his (devil’s) heart by placing him as the guardian cherub and then went away to give him an opportune time to talk to Eve alone. No wonder the devil is full of fury and is out to send everyone else down to the abyss without him if he could. For Satan, the devil, fears Hades as much as any unclean spirit does, for it is the place where souls are tormented and destroyed. That is why Jesus warned, saying, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

The devil has no body that can be killed, for he is an immortal, but he has a soul that can be destroyed in hell, for he has a heart that desires and plans and has a soul by which to exercise his freedom of choice… God’s gift to the spirits and to men.

The lie that Satan is the ruler of hell is a lie… that is all it is. He roams the Earth in fear of going to hell himself and works furiously to prevent the return of Jesus so that he will not be thrown into the abyss for a thousand years. The abyss is the road to hell… and if Satan is the king of hell, then he would not have to be chained first before he is thrown into the abyss. Another lie those who do not know the scriptures or the power of God have had embedded into their theology and doctrine for centuries. Oh dear.

The game plan of the devil then is primarily aimed at keeping himself out of hell to avoid the destruction of his soul, which can only be achieved by the prevention of Jesus’ return. As part of that plan, he has deceived the church into thinking that it is a battle for the winning of souls for Heaven to keep them out of hell when rather, it is the souls of men who will choose Heaven or hell as they succumb to the desires of the thoughts of their hearts.

For the Gospel preached allows men to make a clear choice in the simplicity of faith in God through Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, so that all who believe have believed that with God nothing is impossible… for God having a Son is the very proof that with God nothing is impossible. It is men whose thinking is set on the thoughts of men who say that God cannot have a Son. If God cannot have a Son, an only begotten Son, then for God some things, at least one thing is impossible… and such a God is not omnipotent and if He is not omnipotent, He is not God.

Nowhere – have you noticed – nowhere has Jesus told us to go and win souls. Jesus is not here to win souls… sorry, no… only to offer rest to the souls of those who are weary; weary of having to always choose between good and evil, for the one who believes in Jesus has chosen God who alone is good and whose soul hates evil. The rest we receive for our souls when we chose to learn from Jesus is that the decisions on how to achieve eternal goodness have been made for us already in Him… and achieved and established in Him already. In learning from Jesus His gentleness and humility, we are merely learning and experiencing what has been done for us already so that as it is written: …all that we have accomplished you have done for us.

As such, anyone who renders Satan this assistance has himself become his son as it were, even if he confesses Christ. Judas confessed Christ, but nevertheless he became the instrument that Satan brought to us to kill Jesus when the devil was under the misconception that the death of Jesus would save him, Satan, from eternal destruction. He was one of the rulers of this age whom Paul spoke of who did not understand God’s secret wisdom, otherwise he would not have entered Judas to incite him to betray Jesus. When the legions of angels were not released to prevent His arrest when they were held back when their King’s Son was being mocked, spat on and punched, Satan knew something was amiss… too late! Even Judas’ attempt to return the money was futile… the lot had been cast and the decision would not be overturned. Sinful men who had in mind the things of men and not of God demonstrated to Satan just how far men would go to out-devil him as they crushed Jesus’ flesh to a pulp!

Satan knows that if men ever woke up, men could kick Satan out of Earth and become ruler of the Earth without God. In truth, it is also in the hearts of men to say, “I will ascend to Heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” So he continues to deceive men and keep them sedated with the knowledge of good and evil, keeping them away from the knowledge of God. For if a man ever came to fully know and understand God, he would and he will encumber himself upon God to win the trust of God so as to acquire the power of God to become god… if of course such a man could also kill and dispose of God. A true son of Adam… a man who has not in mind the welfare of God – the things of God for God’s good – but like Adam only has his own welfare, his own good and his own agenda in mind.

Such a man is now coming and is even now in our midst. A man who has and will come to know God to such an extent that he realises that God can be stopped and perhaps even killed by breaking scripture. A man who sees that there is an opportunity to seize the throne of God by the opposing of Jesus’ return, not by delaying it like Satan, but by destroying it… if he could have enough power of God to do the miracles that Jesus has been doing and even the greater things, so that he could deceive all men and even the elect… if that were possible. Of course there is not just one individual but a whole company of them, and we have met some… but from that company will arise the anointed one, the one doomed to destruction because by his choice he will turn and trade his power for Satan’s authority, plotting to first dispose of Jesus with Satan’s help and the beast’s armies, and to then subjugate the world and the beast, for after all, it is the false prophet who has the power to do miracles, not the beast or Satan. The tricks of the Egyptian magicians are not miracles as Aaron’s and Moses’ were, for they only imitated what Moses and Aaron did, not opposed them and even stupidly turned the rest of the water to blood.

That is why there were two goats – one a scapegoat that was allowed to go to the desert alone carrying the sin, and the other was slaughtered because of “…uncleanness and rebellion…” That second goat is not Jesus, for Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. However, there is this second goat that is killed because of the “…uncleanness and rebellion…”

Fully manifested in the false prophet is the satan man would have become if the devil did not step in first and take that position by deceiving Eve. And so the false prophet will be thrown alive into the lake of sulphur, like the scapegoat of the Lord for the sin offering for the people was killed and burned.

So then, as in any conflict (war), know your enemy before it begins… and as the Lord has said, “…a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.”

So, elect, we face three types of enemies: One who lives in fear of the return of Jesus and the other in ignorance of the return of Jesus until the archenemy comes, and the one who lives to kill Jesus again if he could… and this is the evil we should pray that God delivers us from… ourselves, lest we become the lawless one.

Amen.

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